In recent years, I've seen a dramatic growth in sustainable design and green building practices to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment.
Simultaneously, expertise in more traditional building practices such as Feng Shui and geomancy (earth energy studies) has also experienced increasing demand.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice believed to utilize the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive Qi. The words 'Feng Shui' literally translates as "Wind-Water" in English. Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water.
When its principles are appropriately applied, Feng Shui has been seen to elicit the profound experience of magic, mystery and order. The importance of these traditional practices resides in their ability to translate into simple terms, a very complex understanding of the interrelationships between the natural world, cosmological forces, the built environment and human nature. Developed as ways to maximize human and natural potential, these techniques have direct application to architecture, planning and interior design, as well as management and institutional programming.
Array recently completed the renovation of The Center for Health & Healing for Continuum Health Partners incorporating design tenets based in the Feng Shui design methodology in collaboration with evidence-based design concepts.
10,000 SF, third floor renovation expanded the Center's second floor space built ten years ago. The new floor includes a gym area with physical therapy and treatment rooms; reception and waiting areas; clinical space with consultation and exam rooms; mind body/massage room; and, support areas.
Feng Shui findings were based on an energy profile which consisted of an analysis of compass orientation, astrological influences, building footprint and floor plan analysis. Using these findings, space layout was adjusted to promote power and influence, harmony and balance, reputation and customer loyalty.
Areas that were not found to be in line with Feng Shui principles underwent floor plan adjustments and Feng Shui corrections. Plan adjustments included corrections to room layouts, mirror locations and changes to furniture layouts. The Feng Shui expert designed and located corrections and enhancements required to increase healing potential and performed blessing ceremonies both at the beginning and upon completion of construction.
Components of Feng Shui Analysis and Impact on Planning & Design
Below, please find examples of Feng Shui input into the planning and design of the Center for Health and Healing project:
- Reception Area: Centrally located with 'stable energy' to create balance and harmony. Lighting strategies and natural illumination through tile glazing activated the healing potential of the floor.
- Executive and Administrative Areas: Located at the North West sector with the highest energy capturing prosperity, income, reputation and healing.
- Treatment Rooms: Located on the North East sector with the highest energy denoting strong healing power through favorable compass direction. However the space was compromised by negative orientation and astrological influences. This was addressed by effective window treatments and interior orientation layouts.
- Gym: Placing the gym on the South West sector was supported by rising energies favorable to new business, ambition, growth and activity.
Feng Shui Enhancements
- Enhanced healing potential throughout the floor was capitalized by adding mineral quality crystals in wall cavities and ceilings requiring positive energies.
- Enhanced reputation, recognition and client loyalty by designing bold dramatic graphics at entry elevator lobby. Brought natural daylight into dark areas.
- Enhanced income generation and business growth by adding red, orange and green colors and special textured materials.
- Neutralized negative flying star portents by adding bells in concealed ceilings and wall cavities.
The project materialized Continuum’s desire to transform the quality of healthcare and its delivery toward a more holistic model conscious of the role played by the environment in the healing process. Demand for Center’s services grows and is expected to increase as healthcare in the United States continues to shift from one focused on illness and reaction to one of wellness and prevention.